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Re: Leaf casting

On 27 Mar 00, at 19:16, Yehuda Miklaf wrote:

> A friend is considering buying a table-top leaf casting machine
> would like some advice re which one to buy and any other info
> people would like to share. He particularly wants to know how
> time it takes to repair an average sheet and how long it takes to
> the 'hang' of the machine.
> Yehuda Miklaf
> Jerusalem

Hello Yehuda,

My experiences are somewhat different then the ones Uri Kolodni
I have built my own machine (hydrostatic principle) about 10 years
ago (and one more for a colleague in Austria). It it completely made
of PVC, nylon, aluminium and stainless steel. It doesn't use tons of
water because it uses a closed, circulating system. Water needs
to be refreshed once in a while of course depending of the
'dirtyness' of the leaves which are leafcasted in the machine. Even
though the leaves are rinsed and eased in water before they go in
the machine an amount of dirt (mostly of a yellowish brown color)
gets in the system because of the vacuum pulling the water
through the leaves. My machine has a very sophisticated interior
design specially created to prevent swirling of the water in the
upper part of the machine (where the leaves are sitting). Swirling
can disturb an even and equal distribution of the pulp.
The machine also has a controlable water flow. This is extremely
handy to adjust the speed of the pulp/water mixture when doing the
actual casting. When the open spaces in the original leave are
large the mixture has to flow at a lower speed.
The whole concept of the machine is reasoned out that it can be
build with 'normal' parts. What I mean is: no specially designed or
hard to get equipment. What I have used is a pump which is used
to pump up water from flooded basements or ponds. It can be
bought in any hardwarestore for about $200. Some electrical
divices which are used (timeclock to set the amount of time for
pumping, electronic level-switches etc.) are also easy to buy at
more specialized stores. My machine is also a vacuumtable
because a normal vacuumcleaner is attached using self-made one-
way valves. With PVC-tube and parts (curves etc.) one can quickly
assemble stable structures.

About the time needed for an average sheet: I have also different
experience (as stated before I have been using this machine 10
years now). When everything is prepared to start the actual
leafcasting (mixing/preparing pulp, pulp colouring, mixing additives
like perfectamyl (potato-starch) or calciumcarbonate for buffering,
heating up the water in the machine (I prefer luke warm for my
hands but also to 'tickle the fibrils' of the paperfibres)) one can
easily do 5 to 6 runs in an hour (the cutting of the leaves when
ready is included). This means 40-50 runs for an average day.
Because of the size of my machine (50 x 70 cm) most of the times
it's possible to place two leaves on the machine per run. So
somewhere in between 80 to 100 leaves a day are possible to
make. But one has to work hard and concentrated.....

You can have a look at a picture on my website:




Cor Knops.

Knops Boekrestauratie
Conservation & Restoration of Books and Paper
Groenstraat 8
6151 CS Munstergeleen Netherlands
phone +31 (0)46 4200024
fax   +31 (0)46 4110180
email boekrestauratie@xs4all.nl
www   http://www.xs4all.nl/~knops/

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